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Posts Tagged ‘madagascar’

Aptinoma antongil Fisher 2009

Aptinoma antongil Fisher 2009

Brian Fisher has a paper out in Zootaxa this week describing a pair of new ant genera from Madagascar.  Aptinoma and Ravavy are small ants in the subfamily dolichoderinae related to Tapinoma and Technomyrmex.  Apparently, the backstory on these new ants is that ongoing genetic research from the Ant Tree of Life project revealed some Malagasy specimens to be rather distantly related to any of the previously described genera.  On closer morphological inspection, Fisher found several differences that allow for the new genera to be reliably diagnosed.

Yet another illustration that the more we look, the more biological diversity we find.

source: Fisher, B. L. 2009. Two new dolichoderine ant genera from Madagascar: Aptinoma gen. n. and  Ravavy gen. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa  2118: 37-52.

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Odontomachus coquereli – Madagascar

Myrmecology continues to lead the way in online taxonomy. Today saw the release of the very first taxonomic paper published by the top-tier open access science journal, PLoS One.

Brian Fisher and Alex Smith combine alpha taxonomy with DNA barcoding to produce a revision of the Malagasy trap-jaw ants. The revision includes mitochondrial DNA sequences from some 500 individual ants and resulted in the inference of several new species. I’ve got plenty to say about DNA barcoding, but I’ll leave that for a later post and instead point you to the thoughtful commentary by Kevin over at The Other 95%.

The citation and abstract for the Fisher & Smith paper are below. (more…)

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